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Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Neurodiversity Awareness/Appreciation

Saturday, April 6, 2013

My Private Medical Information


So I’ve been trying (and mostly failing) to develop somewhat of a social life. This is a little hard to do. At the school where I am temporarily working, people are friendly enough, but it is mostly a lot of older teachers who have known each other for years… they’re friendly but distant. Most of them have husbands and school-aged kids and their social lives revolve around their families. 
Besides work, where else do adults go to meet new friends? I don’t really enjoy hanging out in bars, and even if I did, I am too paranoid to drive home even with one drink in my system. The bar would literally have to be in walking distance from my house or I wouldn’t go. People suggest taking classes and joining book groups and stuff like that… but I don’t like all the same books everyone else likes, and I don’t have enough money to be taking random classes! 
I tried joining a popular website (I shall not name it here) where people can start, and join, groups that meet in real life. For instance you could start a group for business people who want to meet for happy hour after work, or for mothers who want to do playdates and “Mommy Nights,” or an exercise group, or whatnot. I decided to try joining a few social groups that claim that the members get to go out and try new things all the time. 
When you join a group, you have to fill out a profile about yourself. Sometimes you can instantly join, but for other groups you have to wait for your membership to be approved by the organizer. I signed up for a “singles group” that said it was not for dating or hooking up or anything, just for people who are single to go out and have fun. In my profile, I mentioned that I have ADHD “with a side of Aspergers.” 
This was a group that requires you to get approved by the organizer So the next day, the organizer emails me saying something along the lines of, “Since we are not a group for dating, it is inappropriate for you to share your personal medical information on your profile.” If I wanted to stay in the group, the organizer said, I would have to delete that part. 
Which brings me to several issues. 
First, I don’t really consider ADHD and Aspergers to be “medical conditions.” I was not using my profile to complain about my complicated kidney stone or to display pictures of my toe fungus. (I don’t have either of those, by the way… and if I did I probably wouldn’t tell you here, since that is my private medical information! LOL!) 
Second, if it is my information, doesn’t that give me the right to decide how private I want to keep it? Personally, I am not ashamed or embarrassed of having ADHD or Aspergers. (Except for when my brother used to call me Ass-Burger, which was kind of embarrassing.) These disabilities, conditions, disorders or whatever you want to call them, are a big part of my life. They effect almost every aspect of my life. To me, I would rather come right out and say, “Look, if I’m gonna hang out with you guys, I want you to know this about me, and I’m fine with it, and feel free to ask me about it,” than to have people constantly wondering why I am always fidgeting, why I am so quiet, why I don’t make much eye contact, why I don’t want to get out there and dance with the group at a bar, etc. But the bottom line is, it is my information. I own it. And I should be allowed to put it out there if I want to.
Third, getting back to the medical thing. The email said, “Since this isn’t a dating group, it isn’t appropriate to share personal medical information.” So, if it was a dating group, it would be appropriate? .Would members of a dating group be expected to reveal their health conditions in their profiles? “I have Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease runs in my family. Also I have frequent indigestion. And there is a suspicious looking mole on the back of my neck.” By not mentioning these things to potential dates, would that be like trying to sell them a lemon? 
So anyways. I did, at first, change my profile the way the organizer of the group asked me to. But a week or so later, I just withdrew myself from the group. I think sometimes the organizers of these things have control issues, and I am not really looking for someone to manage my behavior and decisions… I’m looking for friends!
Instead I joined a group for people with Anxiety and Depression. (Which I also have. Both. I am a plethora of mental health issues!) At least they will probably be more accepting of however I feel like describing myself. We’ll see how it goes. They mostly just meet for coffee and do a support group type thing, and I am really not much for sitting around talking about coping skills and junk like that. I’d rather be out doing something fun. Like bowling, or painting pottery, or hiking, or going to the beach, or ROLLER COASTERS! But at least this is a start.
If you have any comments, questions, advice, complaints, etc, about this post, I’d love to hear them… just email me, leave a comment on this post, or leave a message at the sound of the beep. BEEP!

2 comments :

  1. Hi! I just found your blog through your comment on my site and I am glad I did! I love your raw sense of humor and wit!

    As for meeting people, find a local group that fits your interest....but do it because you WANT to, not because you want to meet people. That will happen on your own.

    Maybe you enjoy animals? I'm sure there is a local shelter that could use a dog walker, fundraiser or volunteer.

    Maybe you like kids. Is there a Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization near you?

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm glad you found my blog! I always enjoy reading yours. I've been looking for a local group... I do volunteer at a pet rescue organization on Saturdays and I love it, but I don't see any of them outside of the adoption shows. I just joined a vegetarian social group on the same site that the other groups were on, so maybe that will be fun! :D

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